Retailers are pushing their deadlines for delivery later than ever in the scramble for online Christmas spend, according to new research.
It shows that many retailers are still planning to be taking orders right up to Christmas Eve as they look to satisfy customer demand. Last year Argos offered a same day service that still delivered on Christmas Eve and this year a number of retailers – including Net a Porter – will still be taking orders on the day before Christmas.
ParcelHero, whose online tool allows for comparison of deadlines, says retailers are more aware than ever of the role of delivery in a consumer choosing to shop at a particular retailer this Christmas. “Retailers are realising that delivery options are becoming as important as price for many shoppers this Christmas,” said the company’s head of public relations, David Jinks.
“Last year Liberty stopped taking orders for Christmas on December 16th; this year you can order on their site up to 21st December. That’s a lesson learned. And some retailers are saying if they don’t meet their Christmas delivery promise you can have the items for free,” said Jinks.
However the gap between what different retailers are offering in terms of cut-offs could see some customers losing out it would appear and Jinks warned consumers to beware. “While we wouldn’t want to encourage last-minute orders, because of the risk of gifts missing Christmas Day, we think it’s best to make sure shoppers are fully informed of the cut-off dates for placing orders. There’s quite a chasm between the best and worst delivery cut-offs from the UK’s biggest stores,” he said.
He also pointed out the extreme variations of standard Christmas deadlines for free deliveries. “For example, the House of Fraser’s standard Christmas order deadline is the 18th, a whole week before Christmas; whereas Next’s standard cheapest order option is the 22nd – and they will let you have the item for free if it misses Christmas! And ASOS goes one better: with a Standard delivery still available on the 23rd,” he said.
Shoppers can find retailers’ final delivery dates; as well as ParcelHero’s recommended parcel mailing dates and the best possible prices from the UK’s main shippers for sending gifts in the UK and abroad at https://www.parcelhero.com/events/christmas-gifts-delivery.
Image credit: Fotolia